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In 31 States, Rapists Can Pursue Custody (Note Content)

When I happened upon this story, the comments made by Representative Todd Akin of Missouri were still fresh in my mind:  “legitimate rape”.

I make a living by saying things on the radio, usually in the form of an advertisement, and there are times when what I said went horribly wrong.  Not as wrong as what Representative Akin said, but wrong nonetheless.  So, do I understand that he may have just made a poor choice when it came to the wording of his thoughts?  Yes.  Do I think that it was just a poor choice of words?  No.  I think it was a Freudian Slip, of sorts.

With that being said, I have a few friends who are victims of rape (notice that I didn’t say “were victims of rape”, I said “are victims of rape”) and they are confused as to what he meant by ‘legitimate’.
good woman
At the time of this writing, Representative Akin is still trying to spin his way out of what he said.

Which brings me to my next question:  why would 31 states still allow the rapist to seek custody of the child born as a result of the rape?  According to a story I saw on CNN.com written by Shauna Prewitt, in 31 states

men who father through rape are able to assert the same custody and visitation rights to their children that other fathers enjoy.

On the surface, this sounds absurd, but know that I am not a legal expert; there may be some intricacies involved that prevents these kinds of laws from being on the books. Locally, according to Dean Esposito at Ezim Law Firm,

a rapist has no right to custody in the state of Louisiana.

How do you feel about this?  Should all states be like Louisiana?  Or is a blanket law not a good idea in this situation?

 

Here’s a link to the Louisiana Rape Crisis Centers:  if you know someone who is a victim of rape, there are some great resources listed on this website (legal assistance, support, counseling, etc).

 

(Via Law QA and CNN.com)

 

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